Understated luxury: Rajiv Saini composes the perfect Indian weekend retreat

A lounge area in a residential homewith white walls and grey floors part covered with brown mat. The walls have framed paints having off them. Charcoal 3 seater sofa, 2 olive greeen single round sofa and hard wood black coffee table. On the righ is a grey staricase with thin gold banister
Mumbai-based architect Rajiv Saini has merged Asian and Western sensibilities for the interiors of a new villa, set within a luxury resort in India’s Pune
(Image credit: TBC)

Mumbai-based architect Rajiv Saini and Abhishek Lodha of the property company Lodha Group have a strong professional relationship; Saini has already worked on several of the developer’s projects over the last six years, including his own house in London. So, when Lodha called about the interior design for one of a series of weekend villas flanking a golf course in India’s Pune, the collaboration felt like a no-brainer.

The 28 villas (with exterior shells designed by Christopher Charles Benninger Architects) sit within a 100-acre green, luxury resort on the banks of the Pavana River. ‘He [Lodha] virtually gave me a carte blanche,’ recalls Saini.

Saini’s case study boasts 6,000 sq ft of indoor space (including four bedroom suites, living, dining, gym, prayer room, a theatre/movie room and staff accommodation) and is spread over three floors. Outdoors areas and a lap pool complete the programme.

The design has a colourful, cosmopolitan and modern angle, making this a perfect retreat for design-aware professionals looking to escape Mumbai’s urban setting. Interiors feature 21st and 20th century brands, such as Boffi (who provided the while lacquered kitchen), Vincenzo de Cotis, Carlo Mollino and Restart Milano.

The ground floor houses two bedrooms, the movie room – featuring Japanese rice paper walls – and the prayer room. The first floor is dedicated almost entirely to the master suite; a gym is positioned next to it.

Carefully matching Asian and Western design, Saini composed a material palette of pale grey terrazzo, polished bronze, warm walnut timber and polished plaster gray walls that makes for an elegantly understated interior; helping guests feel right at home in this weekend getaway.

2 grey and brown chairs with a round side glass side table on a balcony with wooden floors overlooking a golf course

The project is part of a series of 28 villas built by the Lodha Group, positioned by a golf course on the banks of the Pavana River

(Image credit: TBC)

A lounge area with white walls, grey floor and a view of the 3 floor staircase with gold banister. Charcoal sofa set against the wall with a frame above it on the wall.

The ground floor features ample living spaces and outdoor areas, as well as two bedrooms, a movie room and a prayer room 

(Image credit: TBC)

An enclosed movie room with rice paper wall decorated with picture frames and wooden floor. Left of the room: Flat TV sceen on the wall aabove a black wall to wall floor cabinet with 2 red vases placed on the end. On the right is a dark blue sofa bed-like seating with blue and white cushions

Japanese rice paper walls clad the movie room, creating a cosy and sophisticated feel

(Image credit: TBC)

A room and a lounge separated by a black cage style wall. On the left is the bedroom with a peek of the bed and a floating shelf. On the right is the lounge with a white sofa, black chair and tv screen hanging attached to the yellow accented wall

Bespoke joinery and a material palette of pale grey terrazzo, polished bronze, warm walnut timber and polished plaster gray walls make for an elegantly understated interior

(Image credit: TBC)

A bedroom with double bed and a blue sofa at the end of the bed. above the head of the bed are two abstract frames haning on a grey wall.

The top level is dedicated almost entirely to the master suite; a gym is situated next door

(Image credit: TBC)


For more information, visit Rajiv Saini’s website

Ellie Stathaki is the Architecture & Environment Director at Wallpaper*. She trained as an architect at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece and studied architectural history at the Bartlett in London. Now an established journalist, she has been a member of the Wallpaper* team since 2006, visiting buildings across the globe and interviewing leading architects such as Tadao Ando and Rem Koolhaas. Ellie has also taken part in judging panels, moderated events, curated shows and contributed in books, such as The Contemporary House (Thames & Hudson, 2018), Glenn Sestig Architecture Diary (2020) and House London (2022).